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Vol. I.— No. 2. 

February, 1891. 

Published monthly by 
the Alumni Associa- 
tion of the Perkins 
Institution for the 
Blind, Boston, Mass. 

Terms One Dollar per 
year, payable in ad- 
vance. Single copies 
ten cents. 

All communications 
should be addressed 
to J. W. Smith, Sec- 
retary Publishing 


No. 37 Avon Street. 

Entered at the Post-office at Boston, Mass., as second-class matter. 


I. Esthetic Culture of the Blind. W. Meeker. Translated by 

Sara Whalen 

II. Value of Recitals in Musical Education. T.Reeves 

III. A Happy Life in Silence and Darkness. Harriet M. Mark- 

ham ........... 

IV. Extract from a Familiar Talk to the Alumn/e Associa- 

tion of the Perkins Institution. Emilie Poulsson 
V. Dress and Deportment : Their Relation to the Success 

of the Blind. Elmer S. Hosmer 

VI. Band-leading as an Employment for the Blind. C. H. 

Prescott . 

VII. Sight and Sightless Draught-playing. H. S. Rogers 

VIII. At Home and Abroad 

Illinois. — Italy. — Michigan. — Missouri. — New York. — Nova 
Scotia. — Oregon. — Pennsylvania. — Russia. — Saxony. — 
IX. Editorial Notes 










Spencer Hall, - San Francisco, Cal. 

Facific Coast Agency for 

Ctiickering & Sons' Pianos, 


Colby Pianos, 

Spencer Pianos, 

Wilcox & White Organs. 

Pacific Coast Agency for 

Gonover Brothers' Pianos, 


Opera Pianos, 

Morris Pianos, 

Self-playing Organs. 


Vol. I. FEBRUARY, 1891. No. 


[From the German of W. Mecker.~\ 



Thus is the world of beauty for almost half its extent 
closed to our blind ; and there remain for him only those 
forms of its semblance which, through the sense of touch, 
and particularly through the ear, reach his perception. In 
the education of our pupils, only few ways and means are 
present to cultivate their aesthetic sense; and it might ap- 
pear doubtful whether it is possible for us to develop the 
faculty of sensation in harmony with their faculties of per- 
ception and volition, and to render it capable, in a profitable 
manner, of enjoying and caring for beauty. 

And we should despair, in fact, if, according to the theory 
of Locke and Condillac, man were nothing more than a 
column which only receives inner life and intellect by the 
impressions of the senses ; if an interior predisposition of 
intellect must not be taken for an aesthetic perception, which 
can, as a rule, be excited, developed, and cultivated to a 
great degree by every exterior impression, let it come 
through eye or ear. Each one must accept such an inner, 
universal sense, which is easily cultivated toward beauty by 
every outward impression. Even if he believe with Socrates 
and Plato in inherited ideas, or with Leibnitz in a predes- 
tined harmony of the intellect with the exterior world, he 



may see, according to Darwin, an inheritance, or, according 
to Von Hartmann, an unknown instinct in this aesthetic, 
innate sense. How could it be explained otherwise that 
Laura Bridgman, deaf, dumb, and blind from youth, could 
be cultivated simply by means of the sense of touch so far 
aesthetically that she acquired a taste for cleanliness and 
order, for attire and demeanor, pure evidences of beauty 
which are mainly comprehended through the eye ? We 
shall truly never succeed in guiding this innate sense of 
beauty in the blind to impressions of sight, since these are 
conducted to the intellect through no other sense ; but we 
are, nevertheless, in a condition, by increasing and strength- 
ening the aesthetic impressions which are brought to the 
interior sense through the senses of touch and hearing, to 
arouse and develop the faculty of sensation, that it may act, 
even if not on all sides, still perceptibly after its own fash- 
ion, and be capable of creating and finding beauty. ^Es- 
thetic influences, by frequency and intensity, will, through 
the senses of touch and hearing, replace the loss of impres- 
sions of sight to a certain extent, and develop, render in- 
telligible, and, so to speak, enlighten, according to inherited 
tendencies toward beauty, the higher feeling, sensitive and 
predisposed to what is beautiful. 

Accordingly, then, in order to cultivate the aesthetic 
sense of the blind to the requisite degree, it will be a prin- 
cipal theme of pedagogics for the blind to sharpen and im- 
prove their remaining senses, and then by means of these to 
conduct methodically to the inner faculty of sensation the 
proper aesthetic material for culture as nature and art afford 
it. I will spend no time over what concerns the sharpen- 
ing and improvement of a sense, since a measure so neces- 
sary for the development of the other faculties of the in- 
tellect has been frequently treated by our scientists, and is 
practised more or less systematically in all schools for the 

But a. keen sense is by no means an aesthetic sense: else 
the far-seeing Indian would be the best connoisseur, and the 
sensitive mind-reader would be the greatest artist. The 



sharpest sense should be trained to conceive ideas aestheti- 
cally by the use of aesthetic objects, and thus will the inte- 
rior sense of beauty be aroused and cultivated. But the 
question arises, Where shall we find in a school for the blind 
proper aesthetic material, and how shall we deal with it ? In 
reply to this question, let us make a hurried visit through 
the departments of such a school, and tarry in that spot 
where we hope to find a flower for our pupils' sense of 

First and foremost, a school for the blind has the follow- 
ing to do for aesthetic culture. It should never allow about 
the scholar, nor in his vicinity, anything which stands in 
contrast with beauty, no uncleanness and no disorder. In 
addition, it should make use of all means to accustom him 
to cleanliness, order, and propriety. This is much more 
difficult among the blind, since no mirror, no stranger's 
example and illustration, which among seeing ones tend so 
much to the care of the outward person, can be used as aid. 
Continual, patient watching and correcting, friendly and 
earnest admonitions and reproofs, drastic description of the 
loathsome and ugly impression which everything unclean, 
disorderly, and impure occasions everywhere, especially 
among the seeing, ought to awaken the inner sense for the 
elements of beauty ; and custom, the constant observation 
of cleanliness, of order and of propriety in all things, ought 
to make it second nature. The rooms of the institution 
should, in this respect, serve the pupils as an illustration. 
All objects there should always be neat and in order; and 
no dust and no confusion should offend the sense of touch. 
Yes, I would even like to see the sense of smell cultivated 
among our blind, — not, like Professor Jaeger, as an intellect- 
ual olfactory, but as an aesthetic organ, which would feel the 
least degree of impure air in any place as intolerable ; and, 
in respect to cleanliness and health, it might, to a certain 
extent, perform the office of guardian. We cannot, of 
course, provide our institution rooms with paintings and 
articles of adornment, which in schools for the seeing per- 
form good service in an aesthetic sense ; but we might, 



by avoiding everything luxurious, provide our rooms with 
some of the beautiful products of nature and works of art, 
like odorous flowers, good singing-birds, busts of celebrated 
men, and representations, in relief, of important events, and 
thus constantly employ the pupils' senses of smell, hearing, 
and touch in an agreeable manner. It is also undisputed 
that a fine appearance in motion and address is more diffi- 
cult to teach to our blind than to the seeing. Bad habits, 
swaying and rolling the head, contortion of the face, the 
body bent forward, and an awkward motion of all the limbs 
are just as ugly as the defects, grounded in the blindness 
itself, which we observe in most of our pupils. Gymnastics, 
as the most effective, universal remedy, with the specific 
cure which must be allotted to each individual error, are to 
be recommended for these. In my opinion, no day should 
pass in an institution for the blind but that the younger 
pupils at least should for a short time (fewer lessons suffice 
for advanced ones) be made acquainted with and conducted 
by a competent teacher through the methodically arranged 
exercises of all kinds, to a proper attitude and correct 
motion of the parts of their body. Interesting motion 
games, particularly adapted to the nature of the blind, ought 
to enhance these exercises, and cause mind and body to be 
set in motion at the same time in a beneficial manner, so 
that the interior and exterior powers be exerted harmoni- 
ously and developed to independence. Gymnastic exercises, 
with music and song accompaniment, should receive a special 
impulse and a support aesthetically influential among the 
blind, in whom the impulse and guidance of the sense of 
sight for outward movements is wanting ; and, although I 
cannot recommend the introduction of our usual dance, — 
which, for the most part, consists only in a clasp and em- 
brace of two persons of the opposite sex, and in a frantic 
whirling around a central axis, — yet, on the other hand, I be- 
lieve that the pretty dancing rows, which, with music and 
song, set in motion not alone the legs, but the whole inner 
and outer man, have the best effect upon our pupils. Tunes 
and words set the otherwise lethargic, inner sense of the 


blind in active motion, and this motion is imparted rhyth- 
mically and harmoniously to the whole body. If Socrates, 
who, in Platonic dialogue over the state, declares the poet- 
ical (that is, musical) and the gymnastic arts to be the foun- 
dation of all education, had been a teacher of the blind, he 
would have placed both these arts right in the principal part 
of his instruction. And, without doubt, we can borrow from 
the Grecian people, who in aesthetic culture attained the high- 
est rank, many poetical exercises, and adapt them with ad- 
vantage to our purpose. Moreover, — and this I emphasize, — 
by means of gymnastics and aesthetic culture which train the 
body to a graceful attitude and movement, and which ought 
to make it an organ and representative of the intellect, will 
the health, strength, and ability of our blind be decidedly 

In schools for the seeing, instruction in penmanship and 
drawing serves excellently for the cultivation of an aesthetic 
taste. Since a school for the brind cannot bring into prac- 
tice these means of culture, which presuppose the sense of 
sight and also work upon and through it, consequently 
it has to look around for a substitute ; and this is offered in 
the so-called Frobel occupations, in modelling and in relief- 
drawing, all of which depend upon the sense of touch. Con- 
cerning the general importance and the excellent effect of 
these indispensable appliances, particularly in relation to 
the faculties of perception and volition, I will not speak 
here, since this has very frequently been treated both in 
writing and in discourse by Herr Heller and others ; but I 
would simply like to show how the same exercises conduce 
to the incitation and development of the sense of beauty 
among the blind. The pure apparent forms of beauty are 
order, method, and the unity in the plurality, also the har- 
monious ; and nowhere do these fundamental forms come 
more in practice than in the Frobel games, in drawing and in 
modelling. Straight lines, regularly bent lines, arrangement 
of the same into orderly figures, regular bodies, and placing 
them together according to their proportions, which are here 
represented outwardly and viewed inwardly, form the funda- 



mental shapes of all aesthetic conception and of every artis- 
tic performance. Whoever has appreciated them knows how- 
to esteem aesthetically the beauties of nature, in which these 
fundamental principles are constantly repeated ; also, how to 
reproduce in a pleasing, beautiful form his own works, even 
if they are in the artisan's grade. If, in the schools for the 
deaf and dumb, in default of a system working aesthetically 
through the hearing, a greater space of time (six to eight 
hours per week) and attention than in a school for those with 
perfect senses is given justifiably to drawing, acting upon 
and through the eye, then in the plan of instruction of a 
school for the blind relief-drawing and modelling ought to 
take an important place in lieu of a department of culture 
acting through the sight. It should also be taken into 
consideration whether regard for the aesthetic culture of the 
blind permits that the flat writing, which always includes 
a certain practice of the sense of form, should be so de- 
cidedly rejected for the point writing, destitute of all aes- 
thetics, as many teachers of the blind, at their head Herr 
Kriiger, have in view. 

[To be continued.] 


I would like to say a few words to the readers of The 
Mentor in regard to a single phase of musical education ; 
that is, the attainment of self-possession in playing before 
others. I shall refer to the piano particularly ; but what is 
true of that can easily be applied to other branches of music. 
All will admit that a feeling of self-reliance on the stage, or 
while playing in private parlors, is most desirable: whereas 
excessive timidity or stage fright is the sure cause of disap- 
pointment and mortification, affecting not only one's feel- 
ings, but also his business. The best foundation for self- 
reliance in playing is a sure technique. This should be 


impressed upon the pupil with the first lessons. His prog- 
ress should not be considered satisfactory until each lesson 
is played as well as the teacher can play it. And here I 
would urge the importance of having the teacher play what 
his.pupil is studying, in order that he may set an example 
of perfect accuracy, style, etc. The best teachers do this ; 
but inferior ones do not, either because they are not able or 
because they do not care to take the trouble to practise, yet 
they are smart enough to assign some other reason for not 
doing so. After several months' tuition, the scholar should 
begin to play before company, and should continue this prac- 
tice as frequently as possible throughout his whole musical 

In the Perkins Institution occasions for playing before an 
audience are, in part, furnished by the monthly pianoforte 
recitals, established about fifteen years ago, and still con- 
tinued with increased interest and usefulness. The pupils 
are assembled before their teachers and other friends, and 
each is required to play a study or piece which he has never 
before played in company. If for any reason he is not thor- 
oughly prepared, he is requested to defer his playing until 
the next month, the aim of these recitals being to attain 
a high standard of accuracy. 

Three times in each year a review recital is held, when 
each pupil reads a list of all the music he is ready to play, 
from which one piece is selected at random by the teacher. 
These lists are expected to include all the music that the 
student has learned, but they do not always do so ; yet in 
many instances the advanced pupils remember everything 
they have taken. 

In March of each year a Bach recital is held, when none 
but the compositions of J. S. Bach are given. This custom 
dates from a beautiful lecture delivered in 1885 by Mr. 
John S. Dwight, a well-known musical critic of Boston, 
commemorating the two-hundredth anniversary of the birth 
of this great composer. 

Mr. Dwight attends these recitals, and his kindly interest 
and practical suggestions give a fresh impulse to the study 
of this great master. 



Last year individual lecture recitals were begun, each to 
last not less than fifty minutes. A biographical sketch of 
the composers and a description of the leading characteris- 
tics of the pieces played were given. These recitals proved 
very interesting and useful. They will be continued indefi- 

The weekly Thursday Exhibitions serve a useful purpose 
in bringing our advanced pupils before the public. The ex- 
hibition in the boys' department lasts from eleven until 
twelve o'clock, the last thirty minutes being devoted to 
music, which takes the form of a concert. Selections are 
given by the band on the organ, pianoforte, violin, clarinet, 
and various solo brass instruments, besides solo and class 

From twelve to one o'clock an exhibition is given in the 
girls' department, with the same amount of time devoted to 
music. Outside the walls of the institution our pupils gain 
a very important experience in mingling with and playing 
before the public. The full band occasionally goes to fill 
an engagement, but far more often* a few soloists from it 
either give an entire concert or assist at some entertainment. 
Musical assistance to entertainments for charitable purposes 
in this vicinity is seldom refused. 

When a pupil has finished his course, and is ready to set 
up in business in his own town either as workman, piano- 
tuner, or music-teacher, it is customary to give him a con- 
cert with institution talent. This is usually a financial as 
well as an advertising success. 

Such training must inevitably give readiness and self-re- 
liance to a musician. For instance, the other evening one of 
our young lady undergraduates happened to attend an en- 
tertainment in the vestry of one of our principal Boston 
churches. When the appointed hour for the music came, 
one of the singers was unavoidably absent. It did not need 
much persuasion for this young lady to come forward and 
take her place. She sang and played her own accompani- 
ment most acceptably. Congratulations, introductions, and 
new friends was the result. Another young lady of the 


class of 1889 was hired to sing at a concert in the Boston 
Theatre. I thought it possible that she might feel nervous, 
singing where she had so often heard great singers, such as 
Adelina Patti, Nilsson, Clara Louise Kellogg, Lilli Leh- 
mann, and numberless others ; but no, she was as self-pos- 
sessed as though singing at home in her own parlors. 

A member of the class of 1880, even before he left school, 
told me that he never felt so well as when standing before 
the footlights with his cornet in his hand. Although such 
confidence as this is not altogether the result of training, 
yet it has a great deal to do with it. 

From my own experience and observation, therefore, I 
conclude that a sure technique, which is only to be had 
through many years of study with the best teachers, a large 
repertoire, which must be diligently preserved, and a great 
deal of experience in playing before company are the means 
by which a musician attains to self-possession in playing. 

There was once a small society whose mysterious name 
was represented by the cabalistic letters I. O. of I. F. It's 
strange motto was, "We get what we can, and keep what we 
get." I would recommend this motto to my musical friends. 
The first thought is that it suggests selfishness ; but that 
idea vanishes when it dawns upon one that music may be 
compared with the best things in the mind and heart, for 
they are gotten and kept only by being given forth. 

T. Reeves. 


Edith Thomas, the little deaf, dumb, and blind girl, who 
received her early training at the Kindergarten for the 
Blind in Jamaica Plain, has been for the past year a pupil at 
the Perkins Institution. This is the fourth year of her 
instruction, and it has marked a wonderful change in her 
mind and character. Instead of the frolicsome kitten which, 
four years ago, she seemed to resemble, we now see an 
industrious, thoughtful little girl. 

She has a very strong character, and is quite remarkable 
for her independence in all things. Even for entertainment 
and companionship she does not depend upon others, and 
often prefers to sit alone and increase the wardrobe' of her 
family of dolls rather than play with or be entertained by 
the other children. A very skilful workman is this little 
girl ; for, besides making Christmas presents for her mother 
and other members of the family at home, she has manufact- 
ured many pretty fancy articles, such as slippers, bead- 
work, and pen-wipers made to represent the beautiful pond- 
lily, which find a ready sale among the visitors at the Institu- 

In the morning she has her regular hours for study. A 
nook has been fitted up for her in one of the school-rooms ; 
and, while classes are in session and oral recitations are 
going on, Edith sits with her teacher at her little desk, and 
silently pursues her own studies or recitations. At one 
time you will see her reading from an embossed book (in 
line type) with her left hand, while with the fingers of 
her right she is repeating it to her teacher. At another 
you will find her writing with a lead-pencil the regular 
("square") hand which the girls in the South Boston school 
are taught. She has a grooved pasteboard placed between 
the leaves of the sheet, and by pressing the paper into the 


grooves she has a guide for the straightness of the lines and 
the height of the letters. Again, you may find her with a 
Braille tablet and stiletto, embossing a page which she can 
herself read. So this little girl has already learned four 
entirely different alphabets, either of which she uses with 
ease, — the manual alphabet, the line letter, the "square 
hand," and the Braille system of embossed point. 

Zoology is one of the studies in which she is most inter- 
ested, especially when the object she wishes to describe can 
be made out of clay. The first lesson given her on this 
subject was on the structure of the bee. Edith was espe- 
cially interested in bees at the time ; and she modelled this 
little insect in clay, with the greatest care. It was beauti- 
fully done, even in little details, though it was necessarily 
enlarged in size. She was invited by a friend to call and 
see her bees, and she accepted with delight. The first hive 
was empty, and she could examine it freely ; but when, at 
the next, she was told that the bees would sting, she still 
longed to examine them, and said that she wanted to be 
stung. This pleasure was, however, not realized. Edith 
was greatly disappointed to find that the bee is so small an 
insect. She has studied insects and mammals, and is now 
learning something of birds. 

Saturday morning she spends in the Sloyd School on 
Warrenton Street, and there her deft little fingers are doing 
very nice work in wood. 

Edith has recently been visiting the kindergarten, where 
she met Willie Elizabeth Robin, the little blind, deaf, and 
dumb girl from Texas, who has just entered that pleasant 
household. She was told that this little girl was like herself 
when she first entered the kindergarten, and the knowledge 
seemed to awaken in her heart a tender interest for her 
sister in misfortune. And Willie was wonderfully attracted 
to Edith, clinging to her constantly, following her wherever 
she went, and submitting to her guidance better than to 
that of any other member of the household. A very touch- 
ing sight, and yet a pretty one, was the attempt of Edith to 
teach this little girl. 


Willie is only six years old, is wholly untrained and as 
yet does not care for the finger language; and Edith's efforts 
were very interesting. She showed a wonderful amount of 
patience, repeating over and over again to little Willie the 
words which her teacher had previously taught her, — ring, 
hat, zxi&fau, — illustrating each word, as she spelled it with 
her fingers, by the object which it represented. 

Sometimes Willie would pull Edith's dress and hang upon 
her, — a thing which Edith would never allow other children 
to do, — but no sign of displeasure at Willie's pranks was to 
be seen on Edith's face or in her actions. "Willie does not 
know," she repeated several times, as if apologizing for her 
little playmate. At last, however, she went to her teacher 
with an expression of anxiety and trouble in her face, say- 
ing, "Take off my pin: I am afraid it will get broken." 
(The pin was one. which had been brought to her from across 
the water, and she prizes it very highly.) 

In the kindergarten games with the children, Edith gently 
insisted upon Willie's playing and following them correctly ; 
but, as in other things, she was kind and patient. 

A beautiful and memorable picture was that made by 
these two intelligent little girls, bereft of the senses through 
which flow most of the pleasures of life, yet so bright and 
joyous, as they played and frolicked together. Edith, a 
petite yet plump and erect figure, with her dark hair and her 
red dress was a striking contrast to little Willie, whose fair 
complexion and light hair were admirably set off by her blue 
dress. Beautiful, indeed, was the picture to the outer 
vision; still more beautiful in its revelation of spontaneous 
confidence and sympathy , between these two secluded chil- 

Harriet M. Markham. 




Contemplation of the ideal, and careful analysis of it, are 
necessary and directly serviceable in raising the plane of the 
practical. Therefore, let us study some of the attainments 
and characteristics of the ideal blind woman, in the hope 
that we may thus be led to more successful imitation of her 
powers and graces. 

As in the story of the king and the locusts " what hap- 
pened afterwards cannot be told before telling what happened 
first," so before all else comes the self-helpfulness of the 
ideal blind woman. This is shown even in the details of the 
care of her person. Home and school training have made 
her realize the necessity of paying great heed to these mat- 
ters, and thus she has become habitually painstaking ; and 
no lady in the land is more daintily neat than she. 

The self-helpfulness of the ideal blind woman is conspicu- 
ously manifested in her writing. If it is pencil writing to a 
seeing friend, she takes time and pains to make it readable 
rather than compel her friend to spend hours in deciphering 
it. To be sure, she may have asked the help of some one's 
eyes in the selection of paper and pencil most suitable for 
her writing, — for a poor pencil will mar good writing; but 
such help is a matter of no moment, — merely such as a short 
person seeks in asking a taller friend to reach something for 
her, — and does not detract from her independence in the 
least : whereas every illegible letter she writes makes her 
writing less reliable, and therefore of less worth. 

Her Braille, of course, is correct. Could we hear her 
scathing remarks upon the poor Braille which blind people 
palm off on themselves and each other, I imagine we would 
all study our Braille alphabets anew, and "punch with more 



care " henceforward.. It seems to her dreadfully inconsist- 
ent that blind people should be so lazily indifferent to their 
own good in the matter of Braille. To think that a page of 
good Braille should be almost a rarity ! We all acknowledge, 
and some of us bewail, this state of things. Is there not a 
remedy? Let us transfer the trouble we now take to deci- 
pher poor Braille to our own Braille writing, and the reform 
will be started. And, when our Braille is correct and con- 
sequently easy to read, it will prove an invaluable aid to us 
in our efforts at being self-helpful, as it has been to the 
ideal blind woman. 

Having found that she writes legibly with her pencil and 
correctly with her stiletto, you may wish to know about her 
reading. Whether she can read through many thicknesses 
of a folded handkerchief, whether she is a fluent reader 
(though it is a great advantage and delight if she is), neither 
of these is of so great importance as the fact that she can 
read ; and this I can say with certainty. Her friends read 
to her more or less frequently, and she gratefully enjoys 
every opportunity ; but her own fkigers are the key and 
raised print the door by which she has free access to the 
treasures of literature, and can wander among them, gather- 
ing riches whensoever she will. 

" Is your paragon musical ? " some one asks. It may be ;. 
but her music is valuable for its own sake, and not simply 
as wonderful "for a blind person." 

An adept at fancy work ? Perhaps. At any rate, she 
can sew when the need is ; and she has either sewing, knit- 
ting, crocheting, or other resource of some kind, so that she 
can busy herself at odd times without taxing other people. 

By her diligent endeavors to do all for herself that 
she may to attain the utmost independence, our ideal 
blind woman has gained a high and blessed power, — the 
power of helping others. One who has not strenuously cul- 
tivated self-helpfulness, however, will often be of " more 
bother than worth," as we say of children, to those whom 
she attempts to help. 

The ideal blind woman is cheerful. " Oh, well ! Blind 



people are always cheerful," the world says. Yes, I know 
it does, though I do not know whether it is true. But this 
friend of ours has a steadfast cheerfulness, born of faith and 
courageous endeavor. She has measured her dark trouble, 
and shouldered it. She finds it not only cannot crush her, 
though it certainly delays her progress, but that she can 
even stand erect under it, provided she adds no burdens of 
her own making and uses all the means obtainable for les- 
sening the weight of this one, such means being what is 
included in the comprehensive term "education." 

She is greatly interested in all other blind people fighting 
the battle of life and encountering the same difficulties with 

She will not marry. She can endure blindness, but she 
will not propagate it. 

She is not over-sensitive about her lack of sight, know- 
ing it is a fact which must often occasion remark. 

She pays good heed to hints. Should any one suggest 
that she sit a little differently at the piano, she will not 
wait until she has to be told that her position is really very 
awkward. She receives hints gratefully, and profits by them 

She strives to win respect rather than pity ; but,- while 
this kindly, tender-hearted old world will give its pity spon- 
taneously and plentifully to blind people, they, like seeing 
people, have to be worthy of respect in order to be re- 
spected, and to be lovable in order to be loved. 

She is not conceited. It is said that blind people are 
especially apt to be conceited. I suppose one reason for 
this fact is that the simplest thing a blind person does is 
so apt to call forth wonder from seeing people that we get 
a wrong idea of the absolute value of ourselves and our 
achievements. Honest self-measurement is a cure for all 

Now, we have observed that the ideal blind woman is self- 
helpful, helpful to others, cheerful, interested in other blind 
people, against marriage, not over-sensitive, but accepts 
hints readily, is not conceited, is respected rather than 



pitied, is loved because she is lovable. All this she is, and 
far more. Indeed, I have purposely dwelt upon the plainer 
and more practical part of the subject. In closing, however, 
let me give a few golden sentences, expressing the principles 
which have shaped her strong and beautiful character : — 

" Sow an act, and reap a habit." 

" Be useful where thou livest, 
That they may both want and wish 
Thy pleasing presence still." 

" Pitch thy project high. 
Who aimeth at the sky 
Shoots higher much than if he meant a tree." 

" All worldly joys go less 
To the one joy of doing kindnesses." 

" No life 
Can be pure in its purpose 
And strong in its strife, 
And all life not be purer and 
. Stronger thereby." 

Emilie Poulsson. 


The fact is becoming more and more clear to the blind 
and their friends that to be a successful man or woman in 
these last days demands the removal of every obstacle pos- 
sible, as well as the putting forth of the utmost endeavor to 
surmount those which of necessity remain. It is the aim of 
this article to call attention to some removable obstacles. 
If the writer shall give some hints in regard to dress and 
deportment, and shall do it in an entirely friendly, if frank, 
spirit, he is not doubtful that he will be accorded as cordial 
a hearing as the importance of the subject deserves. This 
is no time for ornate literary disquisition : let us speak 
plainly, and get at our subject at once. 

Since the achievement of success is our goal, it will be 



entirely within the scope of our subject if we inquire upon 
what success in life is founded. We may reply with suffi- 
cient accuracy, Upon the possession of ability and of the 
confidence of others, not only in our ability, but also in us 
as men and women. I put this confidence above the posses- 
sion of ability even, for many a man of ability has failed 
because no one would repose faith in him. It is a great 
misfortune of the blind that the want of sight tends to 
weaken the confidence of others. The reason is not far to 
seek. It is the eye more than any other feature that gives 
life and interest to the face. It is the eye, too, that men 
seek when, with warm hand-grasp, they bid each other wel- 
come or adieu. The eye can look love, hope, joy, grief, and 
all the emotions of the heart. It is one of the best indica- 
tors of character, and it is universally appealed to for judg- 
ment. A person whose eyes are veiled or incapable of 
expression, by the very reason of his blindness, stands at a 
great disadvantage when seeking the favorable judgment of 
others. Let the blind see to it that there be no further im- 
pediment than the lack of this invaluable possession. 

Such an impediment, it seems to me, is often found in the 
lack of consideration that is given by the blind to the mat- 
ters of personal appearance and deportment. The absence 
of sight not only prevents a sympathetic response to the 
glance of a beholder, but also puts no check on his curiosity. 
It is a fact worthy of the most careful consideration that the 
blind are subjected to the most minute and constant inspec- 
tion, wherever duty or pleasure leads them. Of course I am 
speaking now, not of the attitude of their seeing friends, nor 
of that small percentage of people whose sense of courtesy 
is stronger than that of curiosity, but of the custom of the 
mass of people upon whose verdict the success of the blind 
is hanging. And what is the effect of this inspection ? Just 
this : it will either strengthen or weaken their confidence in 
blind people, just in the measure that neatness or untidiness 
is displayed in their personal appearance. 

Even so frank and bold a paper as this need not discuss 
in detail those infelicities which mar the appearance of peo- 


pie, seeing as well as blind. But to the latter class I would 
speak with an emphasis born of a conviction of the necessity 
of such utterance : Exercise the most unflagging zeal for 
neatness. Let the face, the hands, the teeth, the nails, the 
hair, clothes, and shoes tell but one story to that self- 
appointed inspector yonder ; namely, that he is in the pres- 
ence of one every detail of whose toilet stamps him as a 
gentleman and whose demeanor is the strongest rebuke to 
such deplorable lack of courtesy. In matters of dress, be 
guided by the rule to which the seeing defer. Let not your 
standard of attire be that of a fop ; but, in so far as your 
means and scrupulous care will allow, be dressed as gentle- 
men dress. A blind man of all others should hesitate long 
before saying to a demand upon him for a needed improve- 
ment, " I cannot afford it " : the chances are that he cannot 
afford not to afford it. 

There is another reason why personal appearance should 
meet with careful attention. Unfortunately, there is a popu- 
lar belief that blindness is always and necessarily accompa- 
nied by marks of misery, poverty, and disorder of very 
pronounced types. Doubtless people are not entirely to 
blame. The appearance of the many blind mendicants with 
their dogs and other paraphernalia, who formerly existed in 
such large numbers, served only to illustrate what appears 
to be present axiomatically in the minds of many. But, 
thank God ! those days have passed or are rapidly passing. 
Thank him, also, that the blind, if they will, can rise from 
the dark caverns of prejudice and ignorance into the sunlight 
of self-respect and the confidence and loyalty of others ! To 
the blind, then, let the word be, Deserve the confidence of 
your fellow-men ! to those with whom they have to do, be it 
said, Take no mean advantage over your sightless neighbor, 
but accord him the same measure of courtesy and the same 
standard of judgment that you demand for yourself. 

There is left little space to speak of deportment. This 
stands hand in hand with dress as a means of procuring the 
good will of those whose confidence we desire. The growth 
in the demands of society, which has changed the practices 



of the savage into the refined manners of a modern lady or 
gentleman, is a complex one, but is based, like all virtues, on 
the principle of unselfishness. Do not that which will en- 
croach on the rights of your neighbor, and omit nothing that 
will increase his pleasure in your companionship. The art 
of politeness is best learned by imitation, and hence is one of 
the most difficult for the blind to acquire. It is safe to say 
that too little attention is paid to this matter, both by pupils 
and teachers, in the various schools for the blind. The 
engagement of a special teacher of deportment, mentioned 
in the January Meritor, to direct and supplement the earnest 
and constant efforts of every officer of the school, seems a 
step in the right direction, and warranted by the existing 
necessity. The parents of the blind must do their part in 
requiring, during vacations and at all times, the most 
diligent regard both for manners and for personal appear- 
ance. But a proper attention to the principle of unselfish- 
ness ought to suggest to the blind themselves how to avoid 
many errors of deportment which otherwise they might 
commit. It should be plain, for example, to the most 
thorough-going stickler for neatness in personal appearance, 
that any attention to matters of toilet is not a public matter, 
but should be given in private only. A better conception 
of the power and range of vision will assist the blind in their 
efforts to avoid giving offence in what with both blind and 
seeing is often a serious breach of etiquette. Let it be 
put down as a general principle that whatever calls the 
attention of a stranger to us is reprehensible. Yawning, 
talking loudly with friends, humming a tune as we walk the 
street, the incessant choosing of one's self as a subject of 
conversation, and that abomination of abominations, — retail- 
ing one's private affairs to a car full of people, — are things 
which well-bred people never do. The use by the blind of 
tobacco — that relic of barbarism by means of which man 
asserts his superiority over woman-kind, in that he denies 
this "luxury" and "solace" (pet names of his) to his wife 
or sister except as it comes in rank and malodorous effluvia 
from his personage, while he himself puffs and chews val- 



iantly — is suicidal. It is safe to leave the decision of many 
other matters which it is not possible to mention, to the en- 
lightened common sense. 

The conclusion of the whole matter is this : Let each blind 
person attend with fidelity to the important matters of ap- 
pearance and deportment. Let him do it for the sake of 
his own success and for the sake of the influence that each 
one has in determining the condition of the blind, which 
in these later years, has been growing brighter and better. 

Elmer S. Hosmer. 



It has fallen .to my lot during the past few years to 
undertake the leadership of several bands in the State of 
Ohio ; and I gladly give the results of my experience to the 
readers of The Mentor. 

Among the qualifications of a band-leader, besides the 
general requisites of energy and quickness of perception, I 
have found the knowledge of harmony and composition and 
a correct ear to be indispensable. I have had to do with 
men of little musical culture, whose imperfect knowledge of 
music was still further confused by the many typographical 
errors to which band music seems particularly subject. My 
method has been to write in Braille the part for the solo 
cornet, indicating carefully the. marks of expression and the 
long rests, should such be given to any instrument or instru- 
ments. Having committed so much to memory, I am pre- 
pared for rehearsal, relying upon my ear and understanding 
of harmony to note errors, in the correction of which I have 
often called on the most intelligent member for aid in point- 
ing out the mistake in the offender's part. Of course, I do 
not play myself until the piece is well under way. 

Marching, out of doors, has given me some trouble ; and I 
have found it practically impossible to keep in line with men 
from three to six feet distant. For the solution of this 
matter, I have asked the porter — who regularly accom- 


parries bands here as a sort of commissariat — to walk shoul- 
der to shoulder with me. 

I have had some experience with orchestral work also, and 
have met with no insurmountable obstacle. Playing for 
concerts and dances introduces no new factor into the prob- 
lem, nor does theatrical work, other than the catching of the 
cues. My Braille writing here as elsewhere has proved a 
trusty friend in noting the spoken words of the actors. 

I am thoroughly convinced, however, that it is only in the 
amateur field that the blind can hope to succeed. The con- 
stant changing of programmes, the accompanying of soloists 
at a moment's notice, etc., make demands on the profes- 
sional, either in band or orchestra, that only a musical 
genius, if he be blind, can satisfy. In the line of work 
which I have followed, I see no hindrance which a blind 
man, properly equipped, will not be able to remove. 

C. H. Prescott. 


Draught-playing, as performed by the seeing, is an amuse- 
ment more or less participated in by people of all countries. 

The remarkable skill displayed at the game by several of 
our sightless proficients has demonstrated, beyond dispute, 
that the mind, through the medium of touch, may be trained 
to comprehend the multifarious involutions with which this 
recreation abounds. To all the patrons of our new monthly 
who desire to have kindled in their minds a relish and ever 
increasing fondness for this simple yet most profound of 
games, is extended a cordial and earnest invitation to join 
our exploring expedition for an ocean voyage over and 
around the checker-board. 

Small ocean ! think you ? We have the log-books of navi- 
gators who have been sailing over it for four centuries ; and 
none of them as yet have cried, " Land ahead ! " But of this 
more will be stated in future issues. 

The Mentor shall be our stanch and gallant ship, and we 
her dauntless crew. So come on board, ye hardy youth 



and gentle maiden, sign articles, procure your outfits, and 
be in readiness for duty. Familiarity with nautical lore, 
boatswain's calls, and ship's tackle, will be essential : adroit- 
ness at sail-setting, imperturbability in working ship, and 
fluency in compass-boxing are indispensable qualifications 
to adept seamanship. 

Impecuniosity will doubtless debar many of our party 
from supplying their chests with charts, buoy-books, and nav- 
igators' guides ; and consequently these will be obliged to 
fall back on the ship's library. All inquiries pertaining to 
matters within our province will be answered as far as can 
be. In order to facilitate movements, we shall give the 
locations of the most dangerous obstructions thus far dis- 
covered, with soundings on and about the same. 

We shall leave our moorings for an outward-bound cruise 
on the starboard tack, through the main ship channel, on 
a taut bowline, yards braced up sharp for a four point 
course. Should a cross-current sweep us off the main pas- 
sage, we'll tack ship and enter side channel, avoiding, as far 
as known, all cyclonic latitudes. Ahead are wide waters, 
divers currents, unspindled reefs, unbuoyed shoals, changing 
quicksands, buffeting billows, baffling breezes, and misty 
skies; yet, with a zealous crew of thoughtful, watchful ad- 
venturers, we shall not tire of our voyaging, but, with every 
sail, block, and becket, and a vigilant lookout at the mast- 
head, we will speed on and on, with the hope that erelong 
we may overhaul the main squadron of our seeing contem- 
poraries, and unite with them in a friendly rivalry for new 

On Board Flagship " Mentor," Draught Dept., 

Feb. i, 1891. 
First General Orders. 

No. 1. — Boat officers will muster their respective crews, 
and see that they are manned with proper outfits. 

No. 2. — Outfits shall consist of at least one cell-board, 
together with the requisite number of counters or pieces, 
and a suitable box for stowing the same when off duty. 

No. 3. — Crews will number the cells of their boards in 



the same order as that adopted for the numbering of the 
squares upon the boards used by the main squadron. 

No. 4. — Rules governing the movements of counters or 
pieces shall not differ essentially from those of the main 

No. 5. — All rules adopted by the main squadron which 
require observance of colors, or in any manner restrict the 
movements of the hands, must of necessity be and are hereby 

No. 6. — All communications intended for this department 
must be forwarded to H. S. Rogers, 19 Tilley Street, New 
London, Conn. 

In order to acquire a thorough understanding of the pre- 
ceding directions and suggestions, it will be necessary to 
carefully study the following instructions from our maritime 

Cell-boards are of two patterns, as shown in the following 

No. 1. No. 2. 

' a) 






16 X\ 


C 2o x 



18 N/ 






10 \/ 




x ° 






First, the Egyptian or ordinary board is a quadrate, con- 
sisting of sixty-four alternate cells and spaces. 

Second, the Lallemont or natural board consists of a 
group of thirty-two cells, formed of dual pyramidic groups 
of sixteen cells each. 

It will be noticed in diagram No. 1 that cells are num- 
bered exactly as in reading the lines of a page from one to 


thirty-two. In diagram No. 2, the order is reversed. Cells 
are numbered for the purpose of announcing the moves 
while playing the game, and also that the moves may be 
recorded, which it would be impossible to do without asso- 
ciating some symbol with the cell, and thus being able to 
retain it in the mind. 

An accurate and tangible representation of these diagrams 
may be produced on paper, as follows : — 

First, to form the Egyptian pattern upon a Braille tablet. 
Place the paper in the tablet in the ordinary way, and make 
the six-dot character in the first three cells of the first and 
second lines. Then, skipping three cells, make a like group 
of six-dot characters in the seventh, eighth, and ninth cells of 
the same lines. Repeat this operation until you have made 
four of these groups in the first and second lines. Then 
make four similar .groups in the third and fourth lines, "skip- 
ping three cells at the beginning. The fifth and six lines 
will be like the first and second. In this way make eight 
rows, each row having four groups, and each group six char- 
acters. The plain squares may be numbered as they occur 
in making the diagram. 

Second, to form this pattern upon a New York tablet. 
Place the paper in the larger size tablet, — namely, fifty cells 
in width, — in the ordinary way. Put the guide in the third 
hole from the top, make the four-point character in all of 
the cells of the three lines, then change the guide to the next 
position below, and make a two-point character in the upper 
half of all the cells of the first line. At the bottom of this 
line of cells make a two-point character in the first ten 
cells, then, skipping five cells, make five more two-point 
characters, then, skipping five, make five more, and so on 
until you have reached the opposite side. Do the same with 
the four-point character in the second and third lines as 
you have with the two-point character in the lower half of 
this line. 

Now in the thirteenth cell of the second line make the 
four-point character, which indicates the numeral one. Then, 
skipping nine cells, make the numeral two ; then, skipping 
nine more, make the numeral three ; then, skipping nine 


more, make the numeral four, which is the last in this line. 
Now move the guide to its third position, and make the two- 
point character in the top half of all the upper line of cells 
the same as you did in this line while the guide was in the 
second position. Now in the lower half of this line make 
the two-point character in the first five cells, then, skipping 
five, make five more, and so on until you have four, then, 
skipping another five, make ten, which will carry you to the 
end of the line. 

Do the same with the four-point character in the second 
and third lines as you have with the two-point character in 
the lower half of this line. 

Now in the eighth cell of the second line make the nu- 
meral five, then, skipping to the tenth from this, make the 
numeral six, and so on until you have numbered this line of 
plain squares. 

Dropping the guide to its fourth position, do exactly the 
same as when the guide was in the second position, being 
careful to number the squares in their proper order ; namely, 
9, IO, II, 12. . 

Dropping the guide to its fifth position, do the same as 
you did with the third position. Continue in this way until 
your guide has reached its tenth position, in which you will 
make the four-point character in all the cells of the three 
lines. After which, place the guide in its next place, and 
make the two-point character in the top half of all the cells 
of the first line. If you have been careful to number all the 
plain squares as they have occurred, you will have an excel- 
lent reference board, with a neat border. Size the back with 
a thin solution of white shellac dissolved in alcohol, and it 
will be very serviceable. 

Third, to form the Lallemont pattern upon a Braille tablet, 
place a square sheet of paper in the tablet diagonally. Then 
across the centre of the sheet make a single horizontal line 
of dots running through twenty-one cells. Two lines above 
this make another single horizontal line of the same length. 
Two lines above the second line make a third line, not ex- 
tending so far in either direction by three cells. 'Continue 
in this way until you have made four lines above the centre 


line. Then make four similar lines below the centre line, 
and connect the ends of the corresponding lines, above and 
below, with straight lines of dots. 

Fourth, to form this pattern upon a New York tablet, 
place the paper in the tablet diagonally, put the guide in the 
seventh hole from the top, and make two double horizontal 
lines in the bottom row of cells their entire length. Move 
the guide up one position, and make a similar double hori- 
zontal line of dots in the middle row of cells. Move the 
guide up another position, and make a similar line of dots in 
the upper row, commencing with the eighth cell and ending 
with the forty-second inclusive, which leaves eight vacancies,, 
the same as at the beginning. This time carry the guide up 
two positions, and make the double horizontal line in the 
lower row, commencing with the fifteenth cell and ending 
with the thirty-fifth inclusive. Move the guide into the next 
position, and make a double line of dots in the middle row, 
commencing with the twenty-second and ending with the 
twenty-eighth inclusive. 

Now carry the guide down to the ninth hole from the top, 
and make a double horizontal line in the upper row of cells 
their entire length. Carry the guide down one position, and 
make a similar horizontal line in the middle row of cells, 
commencing with the eighth and ending with the forty- 
second inclusive. Carry the guide down another position, 
and make a similar line in the lower row, commencing with 
the fifteenth and ending with the thirty-fifth inclusive. This 
time carry the guide down two positions, and do the same in 
the middle row, commencing with the twenty-second and 
ending with the twenty-eighth inclusive. Now connect the 
ends of the lines of corresponding lengths, above and below 
the centre line, with straight double lines of dots. This 
diagram may now be numbered as follows : the single square 
in the upper row, 29 ; the three squares of the next row, 
30, 25, 21 ; the next row, 31, 26, 22, 17, 13; next row, 32, 
27, 23, 18, 14, 9, 5 ; next row, 28, 24, 19, 15, 10, 6, 1 ; next 
row, 20, 16, 11, 7, 2; next row, 12, 8, 3 ; and the last single 
one at the bottom, 4. 

H. S. Rogers. 



The Society for the Home Teaching of the Blind in 
Chicago commenced its work nearly eight years ago through the 
instrumentality of Dr. Moon, of Brighton, Eng., who is at the 
head of an institution for the blind, and is entirely without sight. 
Some years previous to his visiting the larger cities of America, 
he had been led to consider the condition of those blind persons, 
" so many in number," who had either lost their sight in middle 
life or whose finger-tips, by means of hard work, had lost much of 
their sensitiveness; and so they were quite unable to read the small 
print which is taught at the institutions. Dr. Moon, having real- 
ized these difficulties, and of how much pleasure these poor people 
were deprived, determined to meet their needs, if possible. So he 
invented a simplified alphabet, large and easily fingered, with the 
happy result that to hundreds of persons it has been, as it were, 
the beginning of .a new life. When Dr. Moon came to this city 
for the purpose of introducing this type, he became the guest of 
Mr. William Bradley, who took such a thorough interest in the 
matter that he soon succeeded in getting together a number of 
prominent ladies and gentlemen of the city, who at once formed 
themselves into a society for the purpose of providing a free 
library and free teaching for the blind. Our library contains 
about four hundred and seventy books, most of them in the Moon 
type ; but there are about one hundred in the " line " for the bene- 
fit of those who are able to read them. The teacher's salary and 
all other expenses connected with the work are defrayed by this 
society. The blind in any part of the city who wish to learn the 
Moon type are taught at their homes. Others are read to once 
a week, and are greatly cheered and comforted thereby. Time 
and space would, fail me to tell of the blessings and benefits result- 
ing from the establishment of this free library and the work con- 
nected therewith. Many a heart has been cheered and many a 

6 4 


spirit brightened by the finding of a treasure in the way of access 
to books which they had long thought were closed to them forever. 

Emma Aylmer, Librarian. 


The erection of buildings intended for the Institution for the 
Blind, in Milan, was commenced last April, and is being actively 
carried forward. It is hoped that they will be ready for occupation 
in the autumn of 1892. When completed, this vast establishment, 
of which the expense of construction alone is estimated at 860,000- 
francs (the land having cost 400,000 francs), will be one of the 
finest for the blind in Europe. — Le Valentin Haily. 


In the January issue of The Mentor, I gave, in brief, a descrip- 
tion of our school buildings and grounds. In this issue, I will give 
a brief sketch of the founding of our school. 

For a period of more than twenty years the deaf-mutes and the 
blind were assembled together under one corps of instructors in the 
city of Flint, and, as in all other instances where the two classes 
are associated, the progress of the blind, at least, was greatly 
retarded; but an act of the legislature of 1879 divided the two 
classes, the deaf-mutes remaining in their present building, while 
the blind were removed to Lansing. The central portion of our 
present main building was then in the hands of the Odd Fellows, 
who had erected it with the view of making it a home for the 
widows and orphans of deceased members, and had hoped to 
interest the general lodge of the State. They had failed in this, 
and it was therefore necessary to dispose of the building at a very 
great sacrifice. The General Assembly, seeing clearly the advan- 
tage that would be gained by purchasing it for the purpose of a 
school for the blind, bought the estate ; and, at the opening of the 
school year in 1880, the blind commenced their studies indepen- 
dently in their new quarters. The number of pupils at that time 
was only about thirty-five. A board of trustees, three in number, 
was also appointed to take charge ; and this board, in turn, ap- 
pointed Mr. James F. McElroy, A.M., to act as superintendent. 
Under his judicious management, the school steadily increased in 
numbers; and, in 1884, a wing was built on the south side, to be 



occupied by the girls, and the following year a corresponding wing 
was erected for the use of the boys. Mr. McElroy, being of an 
ingenious turn of mind, was soon called to a much more lucrative 
position ; and in 1887 he severed his connection with our school, 
and took up his residence in Albany, N.Y., where his expectations 
have been more than realized. He carried with him the love and 
best wishes of his corps of instructors and pupils as well. 

A. C. Blakeslee. 
[Continued in our next issue.] 


Missouri School for the Blind. — Our biennial report has 
just been received from the printer, and will soon be sent to the 
brethren over the land. 

The committee appointed by the governor to examine the 
State institutions visited us last week, and found us in our usual 
robust condition. 

The teacher of gymnastics began a few weeks ago, and has 
made an excellent showing for so short a time. The pupils, 
boys and girls, are much interested, and thoroughly enjoy the 
work. The roller-skating craze has struck us hard and deep. 
Two evenings each week do not nearly satisfy the " cranks." 
Our large enrolment of new pupils has necessitated the employ- 
ment of another teacher. The Mandolin Club that proved such 
a source of pleasure last term has been reorganized, and sere- 
nades are now in order. We have an excellent work for the 
little ones now in press, and expect to have it in the hands of the 
binder very soon. We are experimenting in the direction of hav- 
ing our girls learn piano tuning and repairing, with evidences of 
success. The Merritt Type-writer seems to solve the problem of 
a cheap instrument for the blind. 

What has been done toward having a display of the work of the 
blind at the World's Fair ? It is early to begin ; but, if it is not 
begun early, nothing will be done. I think the matter should 
receive the attention of the Executive Committee at once. 

a. t. c. 



New York State Institution Items. — It is always pleasant to 
report the success of our pupils, as it tends to inspire others to put 
forth efforts toward the same results. 

Mr. Franklin Kent, a graduate of the class of '88, has received 
an appointment as organist in a church at Boonville, N.Y. 

Mr. George Johnson, organist of the Presbyterian church in 
this town, has asked for an increase of salary, having received an 
offer of a more lucrative position elsewhere. 

A new sewer is in process of construction here, which, when 
completed, will dispose of the sewage by what is known as chem- 
ical sedimentation. Good results are expected from this, it being 
the aim of the trustees to have this building as healthful as possi- 
ble ; and in this they will probably succeed. 

Mr. Boesch, of Cleveland, Ohio, formerly a pupil of the Perkins 
Institution at Boston, Mass., spent a few days with us a short time 
since. He was then returning to his home. 

A project has been started at Buffalo, N.Y., to enable worthy 
blind pupils of this State to obtain a livelihood by their own 
efforts in a working home to be established there. < 

Pupils who went home for the holidays returned in good season,, 
and now all are busily engaged in finishing up this term's work. 


W. H. Johnson, one of the largest pianoforte dealers in the 
maritime provinces of Canada, has recently engaged the services 
of Montague Warren, a piano-tuner who graduated from the Hali- 
fax School for the Blind in June, 1890. Mr. Warren is, in every 
respect, a first-class tuner ; and his engagement by such a well- 
known firm will be of advantage to every tuner who graduates 
from the institution at Halifax. 

On the west side of Halifax harbor is situated the town of Dart- 
mouth, on the outskirts of which are many beautiful suburban 
residences. Several of these were planned and built under the 
immediate supervision of a blind gentleman named John Esdaile,. 
who won an enviable reputation 'among architects. Mr. Esdaile 
not only had a perfect knowledge of the best manner in which to 
plan the interior of houses, but also a correct idea as to the beauty 
of the exterior design, upon which he always expended much time 
and careful thought. Mr. Esdaile died some years ago, but the 



houses which he has constructed stand as monuments of his abil- 
ity and pluck. 

Among the curious occupations which are sometimes taken up 
by blind persons is one which may be new to readers of The 
Mentor. Some years ago William Smith, a graduate of the Hali- 
fax School for the Blind, went to the Canadian North-west with 
the rest of his family ; and, not having a taste for farming, he set 
about to seek an occupation. At length he began to purchase 
from the Indians and hunters large numbers of buffalo horns, 
which he carefully prepared, mounted, and handsomely polished, 
and sent them to the East, where he found a ready sale for them. 
He has now established a good business in his own peculiar line, 
and makes a fine profit from his enterprise. 


The Oregon Institution for the Blind was established in 
1872, with only two pupils. Since that time, it has been closed 
four years. In 1886 the present property was purchased, also an 
organ, piano, books in raised print, and apparatus. There has 
been an average of about seven pupils in the school the past eight 
years. In October work began with six pupils, and we now have 
sixteen, most of them children. There are over forty blind in the 
State, of school age ; and we hope to be able to report double our 
present number a year hence. We have a library of about three 
hundred volumes in New York point and line letter. The former 
is taught exclusively in both reading and writing • but the line let- 
ter is read by several pupils, and two still write with pin-type. All 
are taught the use of the type-writer and music, also net and ham- 
mock making ; and the young girls, sewing and knitting. Current 
topics and general reading fill the evenings. The boys and girls 
are upon different floors of the same house, but eat and study in 
the same room, under the supervision of employees. Our school 
year is at present only eight months, but we hope to have another 
month added to it in the near future. 

Olive M. Capwell, Superintendent. 


Philadelphia Items. — On the morning of the 23d of Decem- 
ber, all hands came into the large hall of the Institution, in order 
to enjoy the long-expected Christmas " secrets." After fully three 


hours of charades, both speaking and acting, songs, declamations, 
band pieces, and a minstrel show, some one in the audience was 
heard to say, " Why, there has not been a stupid number yet." 

Nearly half of the pupils remained during the ten days' recess. 
For these there were two Christmas trees, well trimmed and 
lighted; and there was a present for each and all. Besides, Kris 
Kringle had not neglected the hung-up stockings of the younger 
folks. Daily readings and candy-munchings and pop-gun shooting 
served to pass the time pleasantly away. One hundred and forty 
pounds of mixed candy, in pound boxes, were distributed to those 
who were present at the Christmas dinner. 

During the holidays the Acting Principal gave lectures before 
two Women's Educational Clubs in Newton, Mass., his subject 
in each case being "The Education of the Blind." Mr. Allen 
believes that too much cannot be done for the blind of the future 
in the way of enlightening the public on this generally benighted 

It may be a surprise to many to learn that from August, 1852, 
until November, 1854, the Hon. James G. Blaine was principal 
teacher in this Institution. Referring to the latter's appointment, 
the Principal, in his Annual Report for. 1853, wrote words which 
we can readily believe ; namely, " Mr. James G. Blaine has been 
elected " to the office of principal teacher, " and gives the most 
satisfactory evidence of his ability to fulfil its duties." 

In this connection it may not be out of place to add that ex- 
President Cleveland was formerly a teacher in the New York 
Institution for the Blind. 

Query : Does teaching the blind lead to governing the nation ? 


A monthly journal devoted to the blind, and published at St. 
Petersburg, under the title lOAveugk Russe, was abandoned in June, 
1889. It was established in 1886, M. Ottocar d'Aderkas being 
chief editor. Its cause — the promotion of the welfare of the 
blind — is not, however, left without an organ. Since July, 1889, 
L'Aveugle, which continues the work of the preceding publication, 
has been issued under the direction of M. Nedler, Counselor of 
State and Director of the School for the Blind in St. Petersburg. — 
Le Valentin Haiiy. 



6 9 

At Konigswarth there has been, since the latter part of 1888, 
an institution for blind children of defective intellect, as an annex 
of the Royal Institution for the Blind, at Dresden. This new 
establishment, which already has twenty children actually under 
instruction, is the first and only institution of this kind in the 
world. — Le Valentin Haily. 


Emmett C. McClure, a graduate of the Perkins Institution, 
whose home for nearly twenty years has been in Rutland, Vt., 
and who for the past two years has been in the employ of the 
Estey Organ Company, went to Chicago on January 5, to enter 
the employ of the Manufacturers' Piano Company, at 248 Wabash 
Avenue, on a salary of thirty-five dollars a week. 


We hasten to correct a typographical error in our last issue, by 

which the estimated amount of the donations of the late T. R. 

Armitage, M.D., to the Royal Normal College for the Blind, 

London, appeared at only one-fifth of their value, — $40,000 instead 

of ,£40,000. 

* # ;• # 

A correspondent writes : " In your January number, in an 
article upon 'The Use of Capital Letters in Writing by the Blind,' 
the author makes the following statement : ' Certainly we cannot 
write with pen and ink. Common sense immediately consigns 
that operation to the realm of the impossible as far as we are con- 
cerned.' Supposing that the writer (evidently a blind person) 
understood his subject, I did not at the moment seriously question 
his assertion ; but a few days later I was surprised to see a letter 
written and addressed with pen and ink by a blind gentleman. It 
was perfectly legible, too. Now, if such writing is 'impossible,' 
clearly this man has wrought a miracle. Is it true that the use of 
pen and ink by the blind is so rare as to be miraculous ? " 

Will our readers give testimony on the subject ? 


We would invite the attention of superintendents and teachers 
to Dr. Sibley's question as to what is being done toward preparing 
a display of the work of the blind at the World's Fair. Surely, the 
institutions of the United States can prepare an exhibit which will 
be highly creditable to the class and to the educational methods of 

our country. 

* # * 

A point-writing machine is now the desideratum in schools for 
the blind, and several attempts have been made in this direction. 
An inventor of Bridgeport, Conn., has now an unfinished model in 
hand. Another model of such a machine has recently been made 
by Thomas C. Orndorff, of Worcester, Mass. ; and a patent is 
applied for. Still another has just been brought out in England, 
and The Mentor has been promised one of these English machines 
as soon as they are ready to be put into the market. If there are 
others in progress, let us hear of them. 


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